Despite playing around with various browsers over the years, I always end up coming back to Chrome. I know that Google is not the best company when it comes to privacy but they make one hell of a browser nevertheless.
Part of why Chrome is so good is the sheer number of extensions you can install. Firefox also has a good extension selection but somehow Chrome still seems to have the best ones for what you need.
In the many years that I have been using Chrome, here are the seven browser extensions I simply cannot live without. I use them every day and would be gutted if they were discontinued.
After you go through this list, make sure to read our other lists of best Chrome extensions for productivity, best Chrome extensions for web developers and 10 more great Chrome extensions. Incognito This!
There are many reasons why you would use “Incognito Mode” for browsing. Since it doesn’t leave a trail in your cookies, cache and Internet history, it is ideal for looking at pages you don’t want others to know you’re looking at.
Since Incognito Mode is also known as “porn mode”, you can guess what I am hinting at here. But on a more serious note, Incognito Mode is perfect for when you have a site which only gives you a limited number of free views per month, such as the New York Times and the New Yorker. Incognito Mode will hide who you are and reset those free views back to zero.
You can usually get to Incognito Mode by going to File–>New Incognito Window. But an easier method is to use this extension. Just click the button and your webpage will automatically be transferred over into Incognito Mode. Easy and seamless. Chrono Download Manager
One of the few Firefox extensions I was utterly in love with was “Down Them All” and I was devastated when it was discontinued. It was a downloading manager which “sniffed” out all downloadable files on a webpage, listed them for you by file format and enabled you to click the ones you wanted to download. It was sheer bliss.
It took me a while but I have finally managed to sort of find a Chrome equivalent. It is called Chrono Download Manager. It takes over the standard Chrome download function with a better interface but it also has a sniffer function.
So if I was on this page, you will see links to downloadable classical MP3 music files.
It is a bit tedious right-clicking each one and choosing “Save As”. So if you click Chrono, the sniffer will find all of the MP3 files and list them for you.
Then it is just a case of ticking the ones you want and clicking “Download All”. Privacy Badger
As everyone will know by now, browsing the Internet has its risks. Websites such as Amazon, Facebook, and any of the other big sites all have trackers which follow you around the Internet with their cookies and scripts. If you look at something on Amazon, and then go to another site, you will most likely see an Amazon advert for that exact same item.
It’s things like this that Privacy Badger aims to avoid. Made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Privacy Badger blocks all known scripts, trackers, adverts, and social media widgets.
By clicking the Badger box, you can see what has been blocked and what has been allowed through. Although it is not recommended if you don’t know what you are doing, you can override Privacy Badger’s recommendations. Pocket
It’s inevitable that with hundreds of RSS feeds to look at each day to find story ideas, I am going to come across countless stories to read. Stories I don’t immediately have time for at that precise moment. That is why Pocket is so valuable.
Pocket is where I tuck away all the stories I want to read – eventually. At 500+ links, I guess I need to start paring down that list pretty soon. When you see a link you want to save, click the Pocket button and it will be saved instantly to your Pocket account. Of course you need to be logged into your account first. OneTab
When doing research on Google, and lots of tabs start to get opened up, the browser begins to slow down. That is perfectly normal but it can still be a pain. What is even more a pain is when you have dozens and dozens of tabs open and suddenly it becomes difficult to navigate them.
OneTab addresses this pain point perfectly. When you have lots of tabs open, clicking the OneTab button will close all of those tabs for you and put them on a clickable list instead.
That way, the memory from those tabs gets freed up and at the same time you have a nice neat list of sites to refer to. You can arrange the tabs into categorized groups and lock them to prevent accidental deletion.
My only complaint is that OneTab does not synchronise across computers so lists on my laptop don’t instantly appear on my PC, and vice versa. But you can export the list and import it on another machine, which I recommend doing on a regular basis. But it is a clunky process. PushBullet
I use quite a lot of devices on a daily basis, the two main ones being my laptop and my iPhone. Transferring links from one to another used to be a real pain with sending emails to myself or syncing tabs. But then Pushbullet appeared and now sending links between devices is extremely easy.
Pushbullet is actually quite an old extension and the developers had really grand plans for it. But it seems to have fallen by the wayside over the years. But I love it. You can right-click on a page, choose the PushBullet option and then choose the device to send the page to. Works perfectly every single time. Make Google Images Great Again
Despite the unfortunate political-leaning name, this is an extension which plugs an inexplicable decision by Google. A while back, they stopped people from being able to go directly to an image on Google Images. So the Internet did what it usually does – it went and added the button back in again.
When you install the extension, watch the button come back. Abracadabra!